Gudo Nishijima passes away

Obituary contributed by Jundo Cohen

Gudo Nishijima Roshi passed away on January 28, 2014, at the age of 94. A zazen practitioner for nearly eighty years, he was a teacher to Zen students from around the world and a translator of Buddhist texts from Japanese and Sanskrit. A one-time student of Kodo Sawaki, the itinerant master famous for his efforts to restore zazen to its place as the center of Buddhist practice, Master Nishijima shared in that philosophy. Master Nishijima was ordained and received dharma transmission from the late Rempo Niwa, Abbot of Eiheiji temple and head of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism. Gudo Nishijima wrote and translated many books on Buddhism in both Japanese and English, including full translations of  Dogen’s Shobogenzo and the Shinji Shobogenzo.  Nishijima sought to bring the practice of zazen out from behind monastery walls and into our homes and workplaces, and to step through and beyond the traditional sangha divisions of priest and lay, male and female.